With Christmas passed and bills to pay, Canadians will be feeling the pinch over the next few months. Besides these personal struggles, we are still faced with a lot of domestic uncertainty about the job market and the economy. Abroad, we seem to be heading for a time of change and struggle.
There are some hopeful signs amid the rubble of the old world, however. The Canadian economy has been showing positive signs for months that a change for the better is imminent. The Syrian conflict will likely be settled in the new year, and this glut of refugees can begin returning home to rebuild their country and their lives. And Donald Trump, surprisingly to some, might actually turn out to be a good president if his first choices before taking office are any indication.
Judgment is still out on that one for the time being. Trump will have his opportunity to show whether or not he can actually govern. Pot-stirring is easy; making pragmatic decisions for the good of your country is not. One thing is certain; the status quo is going to change. And probably needs to at this point in the history of the world.
We are entering an epoch of rapid change where terrorist attacks like the one seen in Germany over the Christmas holiday will become the new normal. No change in government, even in a powerful country like the United States, can prevent that. All we can do is be aware of the danger and act swiftly to prevent such incidents, but, inevitably, some will make it through to cause pain and suffering to innocents who have nothing to do with the geo-political forces underlying them.
One consolation we can take from all of this is this bad old world has been spinning around for some time. After the bloodbath of the great wars of the 20th century, we found for a time an equilibrium and a peace at a high cost. Before those wars, the world experienced terrorist attacks from anarchists, ultra-nationalists and communist sympathizers. In those days, the issues were sovereignty of nations held in the grip of colonial European powers, who squeezed them for all they were worth to fill the coffers of imperial ambition. So unbalanced had things become, it took two World Wars to reset the scales.
The unbalance today is not based on borders, but resources are still at the heart of it. There are have and have not nations in the world, and the position of the have nots has gotten increasingly worse. People in these nations work harder today than they did 20 years ago to take home less. We in the “have” nations are experiencing the same. The scales are out of balance once again, and the times are a changing to redress the situation.
Let’s hope for a soft landing rather than a plummeting crash which leads inevitably to one destination: War between nations and death for countless millions.